Review Summary: "NOTHING YOU HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE" declares their website - but hey, so what?
Hipster. Self-aware. Dramatic. Self-deprecating. “I suppose I’m doomed to spend the rest of my life making 6/10 indie music.” Believe it or not, this is one of the most positive visions of the future Fred Macpherson, British indie band Spector's frontman, has shared, in this version Spector at least keep going. Other predictions include alcoholism, adultery and Lana del Rey, or less thrillingly, that the band will go extinct after album one. Perhaps all this “being in a band” thing was just a ruse to kickstart Fred’s career in stand up comedy (he is already famous for his on-stage banter).
Or perhaps not: Spector's debut is everything indie pop is meant to be yet HASN'T been since about 2007. The songs are quick to fire up, then they cut back as Fred intones his lovelorn, emotional and witty lyrics in a deep, clear voice. They range from the slightly too smart: "Heard he was your rock, does that make me your hard place"" to the pessimistic "All I ask is will you lie to me, tell me that they can't stop me" right down to the genuine "You know I'll Never Fade Away". They demand that you join in.
Then it's full of soaring "woahs" and "oohs" that translate wonderfully live, backed by confident guitars which switch between dirty and grungey (No Adventure) and a more clean indie rock sound, poppy synths and driving drum beats with a proper rock solo to be found in the high point of the whirlwind that is Chevy Thunder.The other band members also add their laddish sing-along to the background of a few of the massive choruses that are everywhere on this album, soaked in reverb.
Where Spector perhaps aren't quite as successful is in their slower tracks (Lay Low and Grim Reefer). They plod along, then spiral into an ocean, then rip up loudly and aggressively, like several different tracks mashed together haphazardly.
Spector are like fun. but actually fun. They've got that exaggerated, almost ironic flamboyance that Pulp do. They're unafraid of being cliched or obvious. Basically, it's easier to dance to "Let's Dance to Joy Divison" by The Wombats than it is to dance to anything by actual Joy Division (go try it) and Spector know that: they are danceable as you like, as danceable as The Kaiser Chiefs or all those indie bands that dominated the scene a couple of years back. So yeah, "NOTHING YOU HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE", but don't let that put you off.